Increasingly, dogs are being used to comfort children in therapy as well as those with developmental disabilities. The animals are also being used in nursing homes to address depression among the elderly.

More recently, the trend has moved to courtrooms, where experts say some witnesses may be less anxious and better able to testify about traumatic experiences before a jury if they have man’s best friend by their side. Defense lawyers, however, are barking at the notion, claiming that a cuddly animal’s proximity to prosecution witnesses may prejudice their clients from getting a fair trial.

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